TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The opioid crisis in the Wabash Valley continues to surge.
Christy Crowder, Director of The Wabash Valley Recovery Center, is on the frontline of the opioid crisis in our area. She said that the number of overdoses continue to rise.
“There has been a dramatic increase of overdoes in the Wabash Valley,” Crowder said. “Especially this past year and a lot of it is attributed to COVID.”
However, an opioid overdose reversal drug called ‘Naloxone’ can be used to help opioid overdose victims.
Crowder recognized the value of Naloxone, and she teamed up with the Governor’s office to help train civilians on how to use Naloxone in a crisis situation.
“Having that knowledge and having that training to use Naloxone can definitely save a life,” Crowder said.
Vigo County has seen an increase in EMS usage of Naloxone since 2018, and this is a trend throughout the state.
Douglas Huntsinger, Executive Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement, said that this is all the more reason to encourage people to train to administer Naloxone.
“We’re seeing statewide increases,” Huntsinger said. “We know that the civilian population can use it as well.”
The state reported that Vigo County had 289 hospital discharges with drug overdoses in 2019. Huntsinger acknowledged the rise and urged the use of the drug.
“Vigo County saw an increase this in opioid overdose in the emergency department,” Huntsinger stated. “It’s really important that anyone and everyone have this medication on hand as is able to use it.”
Crowder emphasized the importance of the training as she knows that opioid addiction can affect anyone.
“Substance abuse doesn’t discriminate,” Crowder explained. “It doesn’t matter your age, your race, your gender or your socioeconomic background. Substance abuse can happen to anyone.”